Alanna Kennedy and her short off-season

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Sydney FC’s brick wall defender Alanna Kennedy recently sat down with The Football Sack to have a chat about family, living with Caitlin Foord, and how she gets some “me time” between her hectic footballing schedules.

Kennedy was most recently seen on the winning side of the W-League Grand Final, defeating Perth Glory 4-2 at Jubilee Stadium. The defender did a stellar job of marking a world-class Sam Kerr to help her side win their third ever Championship.

But after the last four months of W-League action, Kennedy is ready to return to the United States to play in the National Women’s Soccer League once more. It’s a hectic, year-round affair for the 24-year-old, leaving her with little time to rest and recover between competitions.

“I go back to Orlando in about a month’s time and do it all over again. At the moment it’s working for me and I enjoy my time in the W-League and in the NWSL. For now, that’s where I’m at.

“It’s hard because there’s not much time in between. I did actually have a break between the NWSL season to get surgery on my feet last year.

“Depending on what leagues you’re in, some players might get a little more rest than others. I sort of negotiated, and I’m lucky that I have good people around me who are willing to give my body a rest.

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Kennedy admitted that she sometimes loses track of giving herself a rest from the demands of professional sport. To take her mind off football, the Campbelltown native likes to take photos and has an Instagram account with some of her favourite shots.

“Photography has been a hobby of mine for a long time and to be honest I don’t actually put a lot of photos on Instagram compared to what I photograph: I should start doing that a little bit more.

“I enjoy being in cool places that have a lot of artsy backgrounds. I think it’s just something that’s been a constant hobby of mine for a long time.

“I bought a camera about a year ago so I can capture some of those moments and the places that I get to travel to. It gives me something to do other than football and I enjoy it.

 

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When she’s not playing football or snapping pretty places, it’s likely you’ll see the Matildas’ star hanging out with her family to catch a break from her frantic timetable.

“I love being around my niece and two nephews and not talking about soccer, because their lives are more interesting to me than my football. I just love being around them and chatting about Harry Potter and all that stuff with them. They’re a good distraction from sport.

Family has always been the cornerstone of Kennedy’s career, with her interest in football stemming from kicking a ball in the backyard with her siblings.

“My brother played, and he’s a couple years older than me, so when I was younger he was always out the back and was very active.

“I looked up to him, and mum was always very encouraging for us to go out and try new things. That’s what I wanted to do – whatever my brother was doing. He’s been a great role model for me, even up until now.

“That’s where it started: having a kick around with him and my sister.

To try and win back some time throughout the W-League season, Kennedy decided to move in with fellow Matilda and Sydney FC striker, Caitlin Foord.

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“Both of us travel quite a way to training, with me coming from Campbelltown and her being in Wollongong, so we decided to move closer to training together.

“Cait and I have known each other since we were little, we used to verse each other at athletics when we were about seven or eight years old. I’ve known her for a long time and we’ve got a good friendship.

“We’ve had a few issues with the electricity, locking ourselves out, the laundry and all that kind of stuff, but it’s just been a good laugh, she’s a crack up so it’s been lots of fun.

“One time, we both rushed out of the house and forgot who grabbed the keys – I had grabbed them, and they fell down the side of my car seat. We couldn’t find them when we got in so we both just assumed that we’d left them inside, and I don’t know, we’re too busy laughing at everything to even know what’s going on.”

After a championship winning W-League season, Kennedy will have a few weeks rest before her NWSL season will start up again with Orlando Pride in March.

Feature image credit: Jaime Castaneda

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Lani Johnson
Bachelor of journalism student from the University of Sydney covering Sydney FC. Passionate about writing and football.